"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." - Rahm Emanuel
Less than 24-hours after a racist young white man killed nine black members of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday night, the left took the opportunity to immediately politicize the tragedy with a push for more gun control.
First, President Obama made a statement from the White House claiming violence like this "doesn't happen in other advanced countries" and blamed easy access to a firearm for the tragedy.
"We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear, at some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it," Obama said at the White House before jetting off to a pair of DNC fundraisers in California. "I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it."
Then, Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton followed suit at a convention in Las Vegas.
"In order to make sense of it, we have to be honest. We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns, and division," Clinton said. "How many innocent people in our country -- from little children, church members, to movie theater attendees -- how many people do we need to see cut down before we act? So as we mourn and as our hearts break a little more, and as we send this message of solidarity that we will not forsake those who have been victimized by gun violence, this time we have to find answers together.
First, the statement from Obama that this type of violence only happens in the United States is false. David Harsanyi has the numbers:
It take only takes some quick research to discover that rampage killers, acts of terror (as the Charleston shooting most certainly is), school attacks, spree killers are not unique to the United States.
In 2011, a deranged Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people by setting off a van bomb in Oslo, before going on to murder 69 more people, mostly children, at a summer camp. This is the single worst shooting spree incident in history. Obama surely remembers that he left the White House and visited the Norwegian ambassador’s residence to offer his condolences.
It takes only a rudimentary search to find out that mentally unstable killers can be found anywhere. In February of this year, nine people were killed in Czech Republic spree killing. In Erfurt, Germany, a couple of years ago, an expelled student murdered 13 teachers, 2 students and a policeman. That same year, in the Serbian village of Velika Ivanca, a gunman shot and killed 14 people—many of them his own relatives— and a Russia gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle killing six people. A couple of years before that, in England, a lone gunman killed 12 people and injured 11.
Advanced countries or developing ones, it’s the same thing. In 2013 a mentally unstable man in Rio de Janeiro killed 12 children and seriously wounded another 12. And you might remember that China had an outbreak of mass stabbings, hammer and cleaver attacks not long ago. You don’t need guns to kill people.
Evil exists and it exists everywhere, not just in America.
Second, Martin Luther King Jr. owned a handgun precisely because of the violent racism we saw carried out on Wednesday night. Racist local police denied him the ability to carry it outside of his home, making his ability to "get his hands on a gun" more difficult. Is this something Obama and Clinton support? I would hope not.
Third, would more gun control have prevented this horrible tragedy? The answer is no. The racist man (who I refuse to glorify by naming him) who killed nine black christian worshippers out of pure hate Wednesday didn't legally obtain the firearm he used to carry out the massacre. Reports show that either his father gave him a .45 caliber handgun for his 21st birthday, which would have been illegal due to a previous felony charge on his record (and a felony for his father as it is illegal to purchase a gun for someone who is ineligible to do so), or that he stole his mother's handgun to carry out his crime, another felony. Either way, gun control laws were broken but that isn't stopping the left from taking the opportunity to push a political agenda not based on fact.